Fr. Paul’s Blog2019-10-16T22:24:54+00:00
811, 2019

Why we Confess

By |November 8th, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on Why we Confess

Greetings, everyone! I hope you all have had a good week and are staying warm with this new arctic blast settling in over Haywood County.  This past Tuesday on my day off, I hiked to Mt. Lynn Lowry with Fr. John Eckert (pastor, Sacred Heart, Salisbury) and Fr. Casey Coleman (pastor, St. Mary’s, Sylva).  It was an awesome hike that I’d like to recommend to everyone, but can’t in good conscience given its difficulty! If you’re not sure where Mt. Lynn Lowry is, it is where the illuminated Cross, visible at night to our west, is located.  The trail is an offshoot of the Waterrock Knob trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway and follows the Plott Balsam Ridge for 6 miles out and back.  I don’t think I’ve ever done a hike that strenuous, but it was worth the views and lessons learned for to the spiritual life!  Check out some of the pictures at the end of this post. Last week in my post about Humility and the Sacrament of Confession, I mentioned I would cover the Scriptural and Traditional evidences for the Sacrament.  For us as Catholics, it’s important for us to understand that we hold fast to the pillars [...]

3110, 2019

Growing in Humility…

By |October 31st, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on Growing in Humility…

Before I begin, just another thank-you to all who came to my installation this past Saturday and made it a beautiful and memorable experience for me and the parish.  It was an awesome evening and all of you blessed me in a great way. In my homily on Sunday, I preached about the importance of humility (the Tax Collector) in our relationship with God and that pride (the Pharisee) has no place before the Father.   I mentioned that one way we can grow in humility is to go to Confession on a regular basis.  It’s here in the Sacrament where we humble ourselves, recognize our need for repentance, and are embraced by Mercy.   Confession, as one of the Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church to dispense divine life to us, should be a regular part of our lives as Catholics.  What does this look like?  Well, the Church asks that we confess at least once a year (CCC2042).  However, out of personal devotion and the desire for grace to overcome struggles with sin and temptation, some people confess every month or every few months.  It is said that Pope St. John Paul [...]

1510, 2019

May God give you His peace!

By |October 15th, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on May God give you His peace!

Good afternoon parishioners of St. John’s and Immaculate Conception! May God give you His peace!  Happy feast day of St. Teresa of Avila!  I offered Mass today in the rectory for all of you and in thanksgiving for my new assignment as Pastor, which became effective at noon today.  It’s a beautiful feast day to become pastor, given the radical life of holiness we celebrate in St. Teresa, and the work in the Church and in her community that she helped bring about through her conviction and deep intimacy with Our Lord. While I was reading the gospel for Mass, I was struck as well by how Providence (Our Lord’s hand lovingly guiding the course of human history) presented our parish (and the whole Church, of course) with a beautiful ‘first gospel’ as we begin this new chapter together.   The gospel was from John 15 in which Our Lord used the example of the Vine and the Branches to describe how we are to remain connected to Him if we want to bear any fruit—and not just any fruit, but fruit that will last (Jn 15:16).  Unlike the fruits of this world—and not just citrus and stuff, [...]

2209, 2019

The Divine Doctor Comes to HEAL from within!

By |September 22nd, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on The Divine Doctor Comes to HEAL from within!

The Divine Doctor Comes to HEAL from within! Sermon by St. Augustine “There are men who want to live a good life and have already decided to do so, but are not capable of bearing sufferings even though they are ready to do good. Now it is a part of the Christian’s strength not only to do good works but also to endure evil. Weak men are those who appear to be zealous in doing good works but are unwilling or unable to endure the sufferings that threaten. Lovers of the world, however, who are kept from good works by some evil desire, lie sick and listless, and it is this sickness that deprives them of any strength to accomplish good works. The paralytic was like that. When his bearers could not bring him in to the Lord, they opened the roof and lowered him down to the feet of Christ. Perhaps you wish to do this in spirit: to open the roof and to lower a paralytic soul down to the Lord. All its limbs are lifeless, it is empty of every good work, burdened with its sins, and weak from the illness brought on by its [...]

2109, 2019

Happy Feast Day of St. Matthew, The Apostle!

By |September 21st, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on Happy Feast Day of St. Matthew, The Apostle!

Happy Feast Day of St. Matthew, The Apostle! The Calling of Saint Matthew is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him. It was completed in 1599–1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it remains today. Here is a reflection from St. Bede The Venerable, Priest from the second reading in the Office of Readings today... Enjoy! “And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift. As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors [...]

3108, 2019

Do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother

By |August 31st, 2019|Categories: News|Comments Off on Do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother

From a homily on Matthew by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop (Hom. 50:3-4: PG 58, 508-509) Do not adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother Do you want to honor Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honor him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication. Let us learn, therefore to be men of wisdom and to honor Christ as he desires. For a person being honored finds greatest pleasure in the honor he desires, not in the honor we think best. Peter thought he was honoring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honor, quite the opposite! Give him the honor [...]